View Full Version : Please Help
27th November 2007, 10:39 AM
May I first congratulate you on on such a wonderful forum and how friendly you all seem from reading a few posts over the last week.
I do not have a Cavalier King Charles, so please excuse my intrusion. I am however actively researching the breed in the hope that I may (next year) have a wonderful addition to my family, which consists of myself, my husband and our two bed home in Windsor, England.
I have had much trouble gaining information on this beautiful breed, and from me not wanting to enter into this lightly, without all sorts of information and advice, (as after all, all animal owners can appreciate that this is a huge committment), I was wondering if you would all give me as much information as possible about 'Cav's'. I am a novice, and would very much welcome and take on board any comment, good and bad, which would help me in my quest to gain as much knowledge as physically possible before taking that big (albeit, amazing) step.
Once again, I do apologise for intruding on your forum, but I figured that you all seem a friendly bunch, and help each other out no end with your little ones..... so who better to ask!!!
I hope this thread finds you all well - and thank you, even for taking the time to read this.
27th November 2007, 11:33 AM
First of all, Welcome to the forum! We are all very happy that you are here and seeking info about Cavaliers! I believe that (in part) Karlin set up this forum for people like you...she & everyone else here want people to be very well educated about the breed before bringing a Cavalier into your family. (I did not follow this path of seeking information first that you are and truly should have, and I applaud you for doing so!)
There is a lot of information for you in the Cavalier Library section of this forum. If you look on the main page, scan down towards the bottom you will see the Library section. You can also do a search for specific questions you might have and if you do not find the answers there...ask the group!
If you should decide that a Cavalier is the breed for you I believe that there is information about how to find a good breeder in your area.
Good luck & Welcome to the group!!!
27th November 2007, 12:06 PM
I echo everything Lynn said about finding out about the breed and reading all the information in the library section. It might also be helpful to do a search for previsous threads on this topic.
Most importantly icon_welcome to the board. I'm sure you'll find loads of information here to help you in your research and search for a cav. Keep us posted on how the search is going! :)
27th November 2007, 12:34 PM
Hi and welcome! :)
A good post to start with is the 'Considering a Cavalier?' post in the Library, where I've tried to give a pro and con view of the breed. I refer all potential homes for rescue cavaliers in Ireland to this article because I think it's important for people to be clear about the personality of the breed.
I always stress this is an indoor only breed when at home that shouldn't be left alone in the garden all day -- this is perhaps the number one cause of the behaviour problems that then cause people to hand dogs into rescue! -- and that if the household is a full time working household, to consider how a dog will be accommodated (especially by considering two dogs would be a lot happier than one on its own most of the time in such a circumstance). I also make sure people understand how closely bonded this breed is and that while a key reason people get the breed is the fact that cavaliers want to be at your side or on your lap or with you in eyesight at all times, this also can come as an unwanted discovery for some who find this level of adoration too intense. The breed is not 'needy', it was actually bred by humans over hundreds of years to want that level of closeness. :)
If all that sounds like it fits exactly what you want in a dog, then the rest is detail and the all important aspect of finding a good KC registered breeder who breeds for health (anyone who is health-focused is almost always going to also be focused on conformation and temperament, but the reverse doesn't always hold true). There's lots you can read in the library and in the previous posts and threads here and also feel free to ask anything you'd like!
27th November 2007, 01:53 PM
Thank you, thank you, thank you. You are so kind, and welcoming.
I am going to have a good look at your library and read up as much as I can.
I am glad that you mentioned about accomodating for CKC's during periods of which you may not be there, i.e. working etc. A lot of people I have spoken to have dog walkers for the periods of time that they are not in the house, i.e. working full time and are of the same mind as me that keeping an animal outside is a big no no. But then, taking care of an animal does require that you have an income due to the fact that they need feeding, grooming, vetting, etc etc (which does not come cheap) and their general upkeep to keep them healthy and well. I have also spoken to people who say that it is wrong to have a dog if you can not be there all day, every day with it? Please advise? I work full time, but my hubby gets home at lunch time.... would this be a problem?
As you can all see, I really do want to do as much research as possible, and that said, please bare with me whilst I ask 'daft' questions, but I do think that everything should be thought through as this is a little life, not a handbag that can be picked up and put down whenever the mood takes. I just want to know all the pro's and con's like you said Karin. And most of all, what would be best for them, not me.
I really appreciate your comments, once again, and thank you xxx
27th November 2007, 05:31 PM
Hi! Welcome to the boards. I'm glad you're looking into the breed before diving in. You'll be much better prepared!
As far as leaving the dog home alone during the day, it depends on several different factors. For me, I have a 4 hour rule. That's the most amount of time my girls (I have three cavs!) are left alone. This rule is one that I started when I had just one, and to be honest, my three would probably be fine longer than 4 hours. They have each other for company and they are all house-trained adults who can hold their bladders longer than 4 hours if they had to. However, I know 4 hours is long for me to hold it, so I can't ask any more of them!
On days when my husband and I both have to work (He works away from home 5 days a week, while I am a college teacher with a more flexible schedule--I'm home most Tuesdays and Thursdays), someone comes home at lunchtime to let the girls out, play with them, feed them, and basically give them some needed cuddles. The girls then go back into their Xpen set up (you'll want to get an exercise pen when you get your dog--its a must!). They are trained to go into their pen, and they are excited to do so in the morning and in the afternoon. They have toys and water and two beds and a blanket to cuddle on. They also have room to play, but they dont have access to anything that they could destroy (they'd shred anything they could if left freely in the house!).
Of course, scheduling is a bit different with a puppy and with a new rescue. But once the dog is comfortable and trained, leaving it for a several hours at a time per day isn't overly stressful for most dogs, especially if they have another dog to keep it company.
27th November 2007, 06:42 PM
Thank you, and duly noted.
What are their personalities like generally? I know each dog differs, so its not an easy question, but the general consenus...?
My husband gets home (9 times out of 10) by lunchtime, but if the time arose where we both had to work all day, would a dog walker be suitable, or is that out of the question?
Also, would it be wise to keep pup in a pen in the house whilst we are out at work? I dont know if dogs like to chew things when you are out. Again, please excuse my lack of knowledge, but accept my thanks for helping/advising me!! :o) You are all too kind, and have been so helpful to date.
27th November 2007, 06:56 PM
I have three but I am no expert! They all have different personalities but what they all have in common is they are soppy lap dogs! They love everyone. Fantastic with children.... one of my little girls is currently on my lap as I type this. They adore cuddles and a warm lap. I adore mine to bits. I have had a few different breeds but I would never have anything else:)
27th November 2007, 07:02 PM
If your husband can get home during lunchtime, that would probably suffice, as long as he has time to take the dog out and give it some attention as well as eat! If your husband can't get home, a dog walker is one possibility. Another option is a doggie daycare. People have reported success with both options.
As far as what to do with the dog while you are out of the house, there are mixed opinions. Some folks leave their dogs confined in doggie-proof rooms, others use a kennel, others x-pens, and some people have adult dogs who are fine being left free roaming in the house.
I imagine much of the difference of opinion has to do with the particular personalities of the different dogs. In general, most cavaliers are friendly, velcro dogs. They NEED their people. That's why it is so important that they are kept inside with their families. While indoor living is great for all dogs, cavaliers are breed to need that companionship. Without it, they suffer quite terribly. The degree of velcro-ness depends on the dog, but it is generally there in some degree with every cavalier. I've found cavaliers to be highly trainable as they love spending one on one time with their owners. They are generally highly motivated to please people, plus they are notorious food addicts. Even my rescues were trainable with basic obedience in a short period of time (couple of months!).
Aside from these general characteristics (which do also vary depending on the dogs personality, breeding, and experiences!), dog personalities are as varied as people. All three of my dogs are different and lovable in their own individual ways. That's one of the fun parts of having a dog; you get to know what each dog is like as an individual and you bond through their individual needs/preferences.
27th November 2007, 07:21 PM
I think you are so smart to have joined this board and to be asking these questions! There are so many helpful people here, you will get lots of advice!
I have a tricolor female, Molly, who is going to be one year old on Thursday. I can tell you her characterisitics, and I think they describe 99.9% of all Cavaliers... sweet, happy, friendly, loving and adorable! They all have different personalities, of course, but generally speaking, you'll find those characteristics in all of them. Does anyone disagree!?
Karlin's description of the adoration of this breed is right on. That's one of the reasons I picked a Cavalier. I LOVE having Molly sitting on my lap and sleeping by my side. She follows me from room to room. She is the best company!
They have the sweetest personalities. Everyone who meets Molly immediately says, "She is so sweet!" And when I say "everyone", that is no exxaggeration. :luv:
My situation is that I am a single mom (to Molly only) and I work an 8 hour day. My drive takes at least another hour. It's not ideal, but I lucked out and found the best dog walker ever. She's like Molly's second mom. It started out that she would come over and walk Molly for 30 minutes per day. Still not the best, but better than nothing. Molly used to get car sick ALL the time, but after we noticed that she was getting better, my dog walker offered to take Molly with her on all of her dog walks! So Molly gets picked up in the morning, goes on all the walks with the other dogs (minus one or two who don't play as well with others) and then gets dropped off in the afternoon. I can't tell you how happy that makes me! And Molly too! Anyway, depending on your hours and flexibility, a dog walker is definitely something to consider.
As for the Xpen, Molly stays in one (with her crate attached) whenever I am not home. It's a necessity right now because she would chew my entire house to bits otherwise. :eek: I'd like to think it's not a permanent arrangement, but I think it bothers me more than it bothers Molly. All I have to say is, "Mama has to go to work now" and Molly immediately runs into the pen! I give her a couple of treats every time she goes in and she's perfectly content.
I'd say one other important thing that can't be emphasized enough is to do your research on the breeders. Health is a very important issue with this breed and therefore picking a good breeder is the best assurance you have to get a healthy pup. That said, no one can guarantee that there won't be health issues, so one other thing you should consider is insurance. If you get it, I'd suggest getting the kind that covers congenital conditions, and to get it as soon as possible after getting your pup. There is lots of info about insurance on this forum.
Hope that helps! Good luck and keep us posted!
27th November 2007, 08:28 PM
I am a firm believer that working people can own dogs. You need to be more organized and think ahead. When Libby was a puppy, she went to Grandmas. I did crate train her. Lots of people like the pens, but I like the crates because they are safe. I didn't have to worry that Libby was eating something that she shouldn't. Read up on it and decide what is right for you. Others will have different opinions.
The breed is everything that you have read about. We own a yellow lab too. I wanted a lap dog. A friendly dog that is good with kids and something that we can do therapy work with.
I am sure I could write for days on this breed. Good luck in your search and be very careful in the health of the pup you choose.
27th November 2007, 09:16 PM
There's some great advice from everyone. Cavaliers arent a typical dog they are your best friend. Can be demanding and hard work but the love they give back is unconditional:)
28th November 2007, 09:01 AM
All of your comments have lifted my spirits, more than I think you realise.
I had an email yesterday (which really upset me) from a guy off some breeders website who I was asking questions, and he told me in no uncertain terms that 'I was selfish if I was considering leaving an animal alone all day and even if I managed to find a good dog walker, this breed bonds with one person more often than not, and wont be doing any favours by confusing it'. What he failed to understand was that I was asking questions about dog walkers, and trying to explore every avenue, but I dont think he saw past the bit about me working full time. I felt like my hopes had been dashed quite frankly, but then reading your posts made me smile again.
I feel that I am responsible enough to make arrangements for any potential addition to my household, as I wouldn't like to be without company all day everyday, and have to hold myself, but some people are really stuck in their ways about working and having animals.
IM SO GLAD I FOUND THIS SITE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :o)
On another note, can anyone recommend any breeders? I think I am going to have a look ready for next year..... still taking the time between now and then to gain as much knowledge as possible. How do you know if a breeder is reputable?
28th November 2007, 11:40 AM
I believe that this was mentioned in someone else's post here...but please consider getting 2 dogs so they are not alone. This is why after 6 weeks of having Molly we got another dog, Max...to give Molly a companion. They love each other so much and are never apart. (if one is taken outside to potty...the other is waiting by the door...and a what seems like a celebration happens when they are reunited minutes later!)
You also might want to consider getting an older dog that has been trained to potty outside....especially if you are working.
I have not read every post here, so I appologise if I have just duplicated what others have said.
I'm so happy that you joined the group...you can learn so much here. To me, Cavies seem like special gifts ...little gems...and we all here hold them so close in our hearts and want each one to be safe, happy, healthy and in loving homes.
28th November 2007, 12:11 PM
You have received some excellent advice here. I wish there were more people like you that researched before they decided to buy a puppy; I think there would be a lot fewer dogs in rescue.
In addition to what others have said, I have a suggestion. If, after you have finished reseaeching the breed, you decide this breed is for you, start talking to a couple breeders in your area. See if you can meet them at their home and meet their adults. In fact, it may be better if they don't have any puppies available so you aren't tempted to make a spur of the moment decision. You can learn a lot by reading about the breed, but there is nothing like a face to face meeting with a breeder and their dogs to learn a LOT about the breed. Every reputable breeder I know welcomes visits to see their dogs even when they don't have puppies; those are the people we know are going to be excellent, responsible dog owners.
Good luck on your research; you are definately in the right place by starting here!!
28th November 2007, 01:18 PM
I'd also recommend an older puppy or adult. Many breeders will have older puppies available that they have 'run on' as show or breeding prospects but decide to place in a pet home instead. A puppy older than 6 months would be more suitable to a full time working home as even with a dog walker, housetraining is just not going to happen very easily and there will be real challenges. At minimum someone would really need to take two weeks off when a younger puppy arrives to get it off to the right start on housetraining and crate training if you choose to do that.
There are lots of detailed tips for selecting a breeder (and what to avoid) in this section:
I always tell people in any situation to really consider carefully whether they actually want a puppy. Yes, they are cute and rewarding, but they are extremely demanding and will be frustrating. For the first 6 months your entire non working life will refocus to caring for the puppy -- you can't just head off to dinner or parties with friends any more til you get that pup over the initial housetraining hump for example. A lot of people find a puppy really overwhelming as they haven't thought through how much time they will need. Just be honest with yourself before making a commitment. :thmbsup: I have had one puppy and after that, added three adults. I love puppies for all the obvious reasons, but knew I didn't really want to go through that intense level of constant care again. It was really exhausting especially as I am single and thus no one else was around to look after the puppy's needs. If there's at least one other person in the household that makes a difference -- assuming they are willing to actively help!
I do not allow public posts of breeder recommendations -- anyone with suggestions is welcome to email or PM privately. :thmbsup:
28th November 2007, 01:18 PM
yes they do bond closely to their owners but a cavi that would not be happy to see a dog walker???? They would be pleased to see someone robbing the contents of your house! They would wag their tail for them, lick them to death and smile as they walked away with everything in your house!!! My dogs love me too but if someone came along that was willing to give them an extra walk, a treat or a cuddle they would not think twice about leaving me behind.:)
28th November 2007, 01:28 PM
I agree an older dog, at least out of puppy stage, is a great option. 2 of my 3 were not puppies when they joined my home. And actually they are better behaved then my tommy who came to me as a pup. What does that say about me!! One was 8 months when she came to me and the other 3 years and both are wonderful.
28th November 2007, 01:29 PM
I'd do some research generally on owning a puppy too -- order one of Dr Ian Dunbar's books from Amazon.co.uk, read the training articles on puppies on www.diamondsintheruff.com in this section: http://www.diamondsintheruff.com/behavior.html and www.deesdogs.com... puppies chew, chew chew for the first year (sometimes year+) and they WILL inevitably chew what is left on the floor -- meaning shoes, clothing, etc in particular but also edges of books, furniture, spectacles... best advice is view anything on the floor or within reach as fair game and therefore, puppy proof your house and never leave anything out that you don't expect to be chewed. :lol: They will also definitely have accidents in the house, both pee and poo, even with diligent housetraining -- most dogs only get to be about 99% reliable around age one and small puppies can go fast and often without us noticing! So those are probably the key considerations to puppies that need to be kept in mind.
28th November 2007, 01:31 PM
yes they do bond closely to their owners but a cavi that would not be happy to see a dog walker???? They would be pleased to see someone robbing the contents in your house! They would wag their tail for them, lick them to death and smile as they walked away with everything of your house!!! My dogs love me too but if someone came along that was willing to give them an extra walk, a treat or a cuddle they would not think twice about leaving me behind.:)
Couldn't agree more!:lol:
28th November 2007, 01:31 PM
This is from www.diamondsintheruff.com and might help put some questions in context!:
Here are ten questions to help you decide
if you're really ready for the responsiblities of dog ownership:
1. Do I have enough time for a pet? Daily care includes affection, grooming, feeding, training and exercising.
2. Do I have adequate space and housing area (including a secure yard) for a dog?
3. Can I afford veterinary care, licensing, food, training and grooming costs? This can run up to thousands of dollars a year.
4. What would I do with my dog when I go on vacation or have to travel for my job?
5. Am I willing to obey community laws concerning animals?
6. Am I willing to be patient in training and housebreaking?
7. Can I deal with my favorite shoes being mauled, my furniture being chewed and all of the messes and accidents pets have?
8. Are my children responsible enough to help care for the dog? Will they be gentle with it and treat it well?
9. What happens if I move? Am I willing to deal with the frustrations of finding Bowser-friendly housing?
10. Am I willing to make a commitment to this dog for its entire life? Have I ever made a commitment that spans 15 years or more?
The rest of the page has some great links for researching puppies, finding a good breeder, etc. This is one of my favourite training sites. :) : http://www.diamondsintheruff.com/areyouready.html
28th November 2007, 03:01 PM
You have all given me something to think about.... in your experiences, what would be the best age.... 1 year +?
I think by what has been said, perhaps (being a novice), I should start out with a young dog, but not a puppy?
Thank you Karlin for all the information you have provided, and I do apologise profusely for asking for information on Breeders in public view.
28th November 2007, 03:21 PM
Hello - As i said earlier I have 3 Cavi's 2 of which were not puppies when I got them. Tilly was 8 months old when I got her and at that age, maybe I was lucky, but she was completly clean and excellent on lead, and had wonderful social skills. Pebbles was 3 when I got her and the same applied. Maybe give yourself an upper limit and a lower limit as far as age is concerned and find the dog/bitch which suits you best. Personally I would pick anything from 7 months - 3 years, Think about if you have a preference to male/female dog, that will narrow the search down. After thats its about going to have a look and see what you think of the dog. I saw 2 before I found Pebbles, they just were not right for me for various reasons but when I meet Pebbles and she was at the top of the age range, i knew straight away she was the one. Hope that helps
28th November 2007, 03:51 PM
I would start by making list of what is important to you.
male/female, toilet trained, colour choice,good on lead.....
good on lead was important to me as pebbles was my third cavi and i did not have time to work one on one when I have 2 others to walk but if this is your first that may not be such an issue for you, you may have the time to lead train. A year old may not be completly clean yet you could find a 8 month old that is.
Does that make sense?
29th November 2007, 08:40 AM
Perfect sense, thank you.
I really do like the look of the white and tan colour, and would probably prefer a bitch (two women around the house!!) :D but I am more interested in personality. We just want to place our love unconditionally in the hope that we will also receive love and loyalty in return. Whether that be from a dog or a bitch, who knows, but ultimately, we are just after companionship and another little character around the house. Both my husband and I have always been dog lovers, and have always wanted to have one, however, we were not in a place to have one when we first married, due to the long working hours, but now that my husband is home for the rest of the day from 1.30 pm, it makes more sense to make the leap perhaps early next year when I have managed to read up fully and find a few reputable breeders in my area, and make a few visits. I just hope people dont get annoyed with me and my questions, I just want to make a well-informed decision.
I have told my husband about this site, and he shares my views that it is a great forum to have. Karlin, well done on such a wonderful page! :)
29th November 2007, 01:42 PM
So it would be a bleniem bitch you would be after.:)
You will get back double what you put in. They really are the most loving and loyal dogs. (Well i think so!!)
I personally would look for a little girl anywhere from 7 months upwards
Good luck and soooo excited for you!
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